As a home bakery owner, you have six main types of sprinkles used in confectionary: nonpareils, jimmies, dragees, quin, sanding sugar, and crystal sugar.
Oh, sprinkles! They make any dessert more glorious and heavenly to look at and eat. From colorful ones to glittery ones, they come in so many sizes, shapes, and flavors, and no baker can have enough of them. Using sprinkles is the best way to make your cakes, cupcakes, or pastries look much more appealing. They also let you personalize the desserts according to your customer’s preference, making them a must-have for every home-bakery business too. Lastly, they are easy to find and super affordable, so why not stock up on all the varieties and take your baking decor up a notch?
Let’s take a sweet trip to all the different varieties of sprinkles available and why you need them in your baking cabinet.
1. Round sprinkles or ‘Nonpareils’
These sprinkles look like little balls of colors and are extremely common. They have been around for a long time and date back to the 18th century! These tiny multi-colored spheres essentially consist of starch and sugar, which gives them a delightful taste. You can get the rainbow ones for a splash of colors or a single color. Use them all over your cakes to add color and texture, and they will look quite cute. They also complement cookies, and truffle pops very well.
However, they roll everywhere and are not the easiest ones to manage. Nonpareils are also known as ‘Hundreds and Thousands.’
2. Cylinder sprinkles or ‘Jimmies’
The most commonly used type of sprinkles are cylinder-shaped ones, often referred to as jimmies. The name has such a fun ring to it. And these sprinkles can make any dessert fun! How are they made? Well, they start from a paste, which is then wrung out into long, thin ropes.
A very popular topping choice for donuts as well as icecreams, they are incredibly versatile. The best part is its size, and shape is also easy to eat and swallow.
These rod-like sprinkles come in a rainbow assortment, single color, or chocolate color and flavor. You can also create your own blends of color for extra customization.
Some bakers even create ‘funfetti’ cakes using Jimmies. They simply toss these sugary confetti sprinkles into their cake mix. This is a fun way to add a pop of color to your dessert using jimmies.
For a touch of fancy, elegant, and pretty in your confectionary- dragees are a fantastic choice of sprinkles. Made from hardened sugar, they have a tough outer shell. They look like pearls and even have the same shine to them. Pronounced as ‘Drazh-AY,’ they are also called ‘sugar pearls.’
Some dragees have metallic finishes making them look even more attractive. There are options of silver, gold, pink, and so many more. However, most metallic ones are often in-edible and controversial (as noted in this Huffington Post article). While they can look extremely stunning, another common characteristic of dragees is their hardness, so they’re not easy to bite or chew.
They’re perfect for adding beauty to occasion cakes or on sugar cookies but are not the safest option to eat.
4. Sanding Sugar Sprinkles
Who doesn’t love the look of shiny crystals? Especially when they’re made of sugar. These sprinkles have the same texture as refined white sugar. As they are translucent and give a glittery shine, they look extremely pretty and luxurious on desserts and come in an endless range of colors.
Sanding sugar also sticks to desserts easily and is so refined that they form a crust-like topping that looks divine. And you don’t have to worry about them melting in the oven.
5. Crystal Sugar Sprinkles
Crystal sugar is another type of sprinkles and is a larger variety of sanding sugar. The granules are simply bigger, and they are also clear as crystal. Large and crunchy, they work very nicely as toppings.
They are very similar to sanding sugar in terms of ease of use. The main difference being the size.
6. Quin Sprinkles
Another very fun and festive sprinkle choice is the Quin.
Quins are colorful and fun-shaped and come in so many sizes and designs. They are also known as ‘Sugar Shapes’ or sequins. From star shapes to discs, to hearts, flowers, and unicorns- quins are adorable, especially for themed desserts and occasions.
However, it is best to used Quins on already baked goods. And you might be better off not putting them in the oven as they can lose their shapes.
In conclusion, if you’re a bakery owner, you probably have a LOT of sprinkles. Just an educated guess, especially if you are anything like me. As I type this post, I am looking across my room to see drawers and drawers of sprinkles. When I had my bakery shop, we would often buy white sprinkles in bulk and color them depending on what we needed. We also created unique concoctions for orders that consisted of several types of sprinkles.
These sugary bites make baking so much fun, and they’re an easy way to completely ‘wow’ your customers. I have a blog post with resources on where you can buy decorations here.